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Picking & Choosing

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Birthmothers' Lament

(e. jurenovich)

My baby went through some tough times with me:

I used (to cope with my growing belly.)

I'm sorry I did it, I know it was wrong.

Will my child still get placed?

Will someone let her belong?

My baby's black, his health is good

Adoption's scary yet I think I could

But what a quandry it leaves me in

To think he's less wanted

just because of his skin?

My baby's brown, just like the dad

His first name was all the info I had.

It was one of those things, please don't say "tsk!"

Could you accept my child

despite the legal risk?

My baby's white, but came too early.

They say she'll have some problems, surely.

I called an agency, they said they'd see

if they even have

any families for me?

My baby's not a baby now.

It took awhile for me to see how

I could let go, but now that I'm ready

would there still be a home

for my tot and his teddy?

They say there are plenty of folks out there

Who want to adopt and have much love to spare.

Yet children never come risk-free.

The best hope for their future

starts with your family.

Let it be!

Bumping this topic up today with this poem ( one of my favorites). I PM'd a special friend today about my path to Gabriel and started reading some of the posts on this thread. What surprised me looking back over the posts last night was the number of "girl only" PIW that now have boys or the "not open to AA or biracialAA" families that are now happily raising of children of color. Sometimes looking back at this stuff really makes me smile.

Have a wonderful day!

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OOOOOO I love this poem! I don't remember ever reading it. Thanks for bumping it up Heidi!

Great job Elizabeth!

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As we joke about in orientation, Abrazo often gets odd phone calls from folks who want to know if they can come by our agency and "look over" the selection of babies in need of adoption, like we keep them stored in files here for public review?

But now, fertility treatment specialists are beginning to offer the kind of "mix and match" options that people mistakenly assume are readily available to adopters: California Clinic Offering Parents Choice of Baby's Hair, Eye Color.

It begs the question: how important is it for a parent (whether they birth or adopt) to "get" what they really want most in a child? Does this potentially impact, in any way, their parenting style, or their future expectations of their child/ren?

(And if parents can "order up" their desired child, why shouldn't children be able to "order up" their desired parent/s?)

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As Glenn & I did 5+ years of fertility treatments, I often said, one day you will be able to order up a child how you liked it, just like a drive up window. Often I told him to look around the waiting room, b/c if they mix his swimmers up with others waiting there our child could look like them. We often laugh about this.

But, with much prayer, I know Ty was ordained to be in our home. And what I see is traits of a beautiful bp. Shauna refers to the father's looks as Ty is getting older. Our children are GOD'S children.

Great topic to think about.

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I cringed when a friend told me about another friend who was thinking of doing in vitro with donor egg in Colorado (I think) because they would match you with a donor who most looks like you. They compare baby pics and everything. She thought it was great! I thought it was sad...

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My second cousin and his wife had a baby last night, a baby they had planned to name Madeline. However, when the baby was born, it was a boy! They'd had ultrasounds and everything, so it was a big surprise. No wonder agencies discourage "picking and choosing" by gender when it comes to matches occurring before birth!

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For prospective adoptive parents who are seeking to adopt only a full-Anglo infant...

THE WHITE MINORITY

Not only are there fewer full Anglo-Caucasian infants being placed for adoption in America, there are fewer white babies being born, nationwide.

Adoptive parents will always come to the process with their own subset of preferences, just as birthparents do.

But think about it: if you didn't go into courtship seeking only a spouse who looked just like you, then why should a child have to look like you, in order to get adopted by you?

(Just a thought...)

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For prospective adoptive parents who are seeking to adopt only a full-Anglo infant...

THE WHITE MINORITY

Not only are there fewer full Anglo-Caucasian infants being placed for adoption in America, there are fewer white babies being born, nationwide.

Adoptive parents will always come to the process with their own subset of preferences, just as birthparents do.

But think about it: if you didn't go into courtship seeking only a spouse who looked just like you, then why should a child have to look like you, in order to get adopted by you?

(Just a thought...)

I am actually starting to wonder if my kids are going to think there is someting "wrong" with them because they are adopted yet look like their parents (or at least everyone on the planet tells we look like each other). I chaulk it up to our kids birthparents being attracted to familiarity and therefore somehow choosing people (before the kid was born) who would look like their kid. Several times a week the kids and I are reading some kind of childrens book or another about adoption and they all talk about how families don't always look alike. Instead of having (biological) kids who grow up and rebel yelling at me: I had to have been adopted there's no way i'm related to you!!! My kids are going to grow up thinking we lied to them all these years, well how could i have been adopted, when we look alike!!!

LOL :lol:

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I am actually starting to wonder if my kids are going to think there is someting "wrong" with them because they are adopted yet look like their parents (or at least everyone on the planet tells we look like each other).

We hear "he looks just like you!" ALL THE TIME. I usually just smile and don't offer any information, but recently his caretaker at daycare mentioned what a "distinct combination" he was of me and Steven. Uhmmm.... huh... well. I told her he was adopted and her mouth hung open.

See, because I knew we'd adopt, I never expected to have a child who looked anything like me. Now I can't help but wonder what our next child might feel like if he/she is of another ethnicity? I could never in a million years bring myself to enter into our next adoption saying "we'll only take another predominantly Anglo child," but it does make me wonder: what would a second child feel like if he/she had a sibling who strongly resembled the AP's, but he/she didn't? Just another thought to add into the pile of myriad "concerns," though in the end, surround a child with openness and love and everything else will work itself out I suppose!

Picking and choosing is an interesting thought, though. There are so many things that couples who have biological children have as "knowns." If you're Hispanic and you marry a Hispanic man, you know your child will be born Hispanic. Then there are things like gender, health, etc. that no one can pick. Well... unless you're an AP who will only accept one gender or another. I have my own personal thoughts about that, but I think some AP's think "I've been through enough and if I only want a boy then I'll say I'll only accept a boy and we'll wait until we are placed with a boy." Maybe they think they deserve it as the one consolation they have in a world of infertility where so many things are beyond their control? And if that's true of gender selection, is it then true of the "knowns" biological parents would have, such as race/heritage?

Who knows... I think Suzi has a point, though. I once looked through the Gallery and was amazed at how often birth and adoptive families resemble each other. As Suzi said, there must be some sense of familiarity there among new (AP) family who looks like old (bio) family.

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Quit quibbling over what type of blessing suits you best.

Well, this sums it up.... this is one of the best quotes yet that I've found on the forum. There should be a thread started for best one-liners!

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Lots of people think Rocco looks like Raj, although I really don't see the resemblance. Maybe the chubby cheeks? ;)

Since I'm a pale German/Irish lass and Raj is East Indian, we knew that a biological child could be any hue/color between the 2 of us, so I guess we never had an image in mind when we thought of our future children. After we became engaged, I remember a lot of people telling us "you'll have beautiful children!" They were right! Rocco is one handsome dude! :D

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Somebody at the store the other day had a baby Charlie's age and the babies were interacting when he looked quizzically at Craig and I and said "wow, your baby has some wild hair" (my thought - OKAY :huh: ) and then he turned to me and said "guess he gets that from you." :o:lol:

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Don't worry, Amy. When we first had Luke a stranger came up and said she sympathized with me having to lose my baby weight. Nice!!! :P We have a lot of questions about Luke's wild hair too! Often people ask if I had heartburn. Strange but maybe that's an old wives tale? Charlie's hair is cute so take it as a complement! :D

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I got the heartburn question a lot when Rocco was a newborn. I think it's an old wives tale that you have a lot of heartburn if your baby is born with a lot of hair. As someone with wild curly hair, I would take the hair comments as a compliment. :lol:

A few women looked at Rocco and then me and said sympathetically "oh he must look like his daddy" as if I must be so sad he's not as fair as I am. No way!

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I can't help but laugh at some of the things people say. But it is more of a laugh-gasp. I can't say much though because i knew nothing about adoption before we got involved with Abrazo. Gosh, I hope I never said anything as ignorant as that. Now, I try to teach people about the positive aspects of adoption and open adoption.

As for looking like your adoptive parents - I believe that the children pick up the mannerisms from their parents - and therefore they start to look alike, even if their skin or hair is a little different.

A lot of people don't realize that KJ and Benny are adopted even though they are darker than we are. But you know who always does? Hispanic adults. We've had a few people come over and ask if the kids are from Mexico, and ask a lot of questions, etc. I kind of feel like they look at the kids as part of their family, and take an immediate liking to them. (Benny and KJ are both 1/2 hispanic.)

I'm embarrassed to say that I like that the kids kind of "match" each other. But it certainly was not a requirement. I do think it will be nice in school, etc to have someone that looks the same. I think the schools in our district are only 1% each for Hispanic, African American, Asian, and American Indian. But I am hoping that will change as the kids get older!!!!!

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I got the heartburn question a lot when Rocco was a newborn. I think it's an old wives tale that you have a lot of heartburn if your baby is born with a lot of hair. As someone with wild curly hair, I would take the hair comments as a compliment. :lol:

A few women looked at Rocco and then me and said sympathetically "oh he must look like his daddy" as if I must be so sad he's not as fair as I am. No way!

Nicole,

I get the same thing a lot about Lathan "oh he must look like his daddy". Denver does have dark. hair. lol

I just laugh and say yes his daddy is very handsome like him. :lol:

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Somebody at the store the other day had a baby Charlie's age and the babies were interacting when he looked quizzically at Craig and I and said "wow, your baby has some wild hair" (my thought - OKAY :huh: ) and then he turned to me and said "guess he gets that from you." :o:lol:

Oh my goodness! :blink:

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Please be very truthful about what you will (or won't) be open to, when you're filling out your inquiry and your application paperwork!

Abrazo makes very careful decisions about whom to invite to orientation and whom to accept into its placement program, based on the kinds of cases for which the agency needs adoptive homes.

For this reason, we take the information you provide in your application materials (about what you're open to) very seriously, which is why the wording of our admissions letter specifically cites "your acceptance of indicated birthparent background factors" as the basis for the agency's decision to accept your application.

Hopefully, what you learn in the process will enable you to broaden your horizons and expand your expectations when you get accepted to Abrazo, enabling you to be considered for even more situations than you initially imagined (and not less!)

However, people who get their foot in the door by claiming to be open (to any race or to either gender, or a child up to school age, or sibling groups, etc.) but who then backpeddle and reverse themselves once accepted raise thorny questions about truthfulness and integrity, and in some cases, may necessitate a re-evaluation of the agency's admissions decision, since Abrazo only accepts as many families as it anticipates needing per placement year.

Help us accurately evaluate our ability to meet your needs (and most importantly, to evaluate your ability to meet the needs of the children we serve) by being forthright on your paperwork, and then growing from there...

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